Federal Budget Cuts Threaten to Axe After School Program

White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney recently announced President Trump’s proposed budget cuts. The budget proposal eliminates 100% of the funding for Wenatchee School District’s After School Programs by eliminating funding for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program that supports before- and after-school programs throughout the nation.

If this happens more than 1,000 Wenatchee students will no longer have access to academically enriching after school opportunities. 

The White House administration argues that there is no evidence the program has been effective. 

Wenatchee School District statistics show that Wenatchee’s After School Programs have been consistently effective, and do indeed improve student achievement.

For the past several years, the Wenatchee School District has employed a PhD-trained statistician to do an in-depth assessment of the academic effectiveness of the After School Programs.  Using a quasi-experimental research design, standardized test score growth of students in the After School Program are compared with comparable students not in an After School Program.  Our data (see table below) clearly show that students who attend the Wenatchee School District’s After School Program show higher growth on standardized tests than comparable students not in an After School Program.   

The 1,000-plus students served by Wenatchee’s After School Program are all below grade level, 77% are low-income, 70% are Hispanic, 27% are Migrant and 4% are homeless. These are some of the most academically at-risk students in our district. 

Congressman Dave Reichert is the representative for our district.